Supporting Early Childhood Professionals
Susan Winterton, early childhood education major, said Weber State has taught her what to expect at each stage of a child’s development, how to handle difficult behavior issues and a little about herself and her own family — knowledge she puts to use daily as she runs her family daycare center. Those ready-to-use skills also came with most tuition and fees covered.
The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Utah Scholarship covers 80% of a recipient’s tuition and fees, while their workplace covers an additional 10%.
“It took the financial burden off, so I could focus on schoolwork,” said Winterton, who hopes to become a trainer at WSU’s Care About Childcare program or a childcare licensor after graduating.
Employers in the program also commit to pay three hours of released time per 16-week semester for students to complete schoolwork, and T.E.A.C.H. reimburses employers for $4.50 per hour paid. Additionally, employers commit to providing students with raises or bonuses following each completed educational contract. In return, employers elevate their status with trained childcare professionals.
“I would highly recommend early childhood educators to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Nancy Rodriguez, WSU scholarship recipient and assistant director at Little Seed Evolution Child Care Center. “It has challenged and helped me improve in the way we teach and train our teachers and children.”
Administered through the Utah Association for the Education of Young Children (UAEYC), T.E.A.C.H. first offered scholarships at WSU in fall 2018. Over the summer, five of Utah’s 35 T.E.A.C.H. scholarship recipients attended WSU.
Teri Henke, associate professor of child and family studies, said she hopes WSU’s new online Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood will attract others to the program, particularly students who represent diverse backgrounds of children in local childcare programs.
In Utah, T.E.A.C.H. scholarships are currently open to childcare center directors and teachers, as well as family childcare providers desiring to earn an associate’s degree in early childhood. Find more information at weber.edu/chfam.